Q How do I change a tire? Can I use tire sealant instead?
Tire sealant is a good option for a leaky or under-inflated tire, but will not be much use to a flat unless you have a way to re-inflate the tire after repairing it. It’s best to be prepared, so we’d like to offer all drivers this quick rundown of how to change a tire:
- Prepare the car – Set your parking brake and turn on your hazard lights. Remove the jack, wrench, and spare tire from the trunk and set them near the flat tire.
- Loosen the lug nuts – Locate the lug nuts on the affected tire and loosen them (don’t remove them yet!) by turning them counter-clockwise. You may have to remove the hubcap.
- Jack up the car – Read your owner’s manual to find out the best location to place the jack. Once it is in place, jack up the car until it is about six inches off the ground.
- Remove the lug nuts – Place them carefully in a pile where you can easily reach them.
- Switch tires – Pull the flat tire straight toward you and place it to the side. Lift the spare tire in its place, line up the lug nut posts with the holes in the tire, and push it all the way onto the wheel base.
- Replace lug nuts but do not tighten them yet.
- Lower the car – When the car is back on the ground level, remove the jack.
- Tighten the lug nuts one by one, until the wheel is secure.
Remember: you shouldn’t drive on a spare tire for too long. Once you reach your destination, you should replace your flat tire with a roadworthy replacement as soon as possible.
Do all of your commuting friends know how to change a tire? Make sure by sending them a link to this article by email or Facebook!